I’ve always loved music. From the magic of getting a tune out of a descant recorder at the age of 4 (with the help of my musical granddad) to buying my first record – a Beatles single that cost 6s/8d - a couple of years later, music has been part of the fabric of my life.
A teenager of the early 70s, I loved all kinds of stuff, never quite fitting my tastes into one particular category. I got my dream ‘Saturday girl’ job when HMV opened up a branch in Leicester – in those days we were allowed to borrow albums to listen at home, and whole new world of music opened up to me – the sort that you didn’t hear on Radio 1 every day at that time. I discovered Van Morrison, Harry Chapin, Jim Croce, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell… I could go on and on.
But late in 1975 I became a fan of someone who has been part of my life ever since. Despite the almost hysterical hype at the time, I started listening to Bruce Springsteen, and my life changed forever. If you’re a fan, you’ll understand the deep connection with Bruce’s music. If you’re not, well, no amount of explanations will help - you either 'get it' or you don't!
Fast forward almost 25 years. The turn of the millennium. Email, the internet, online newsgroups transforming our every day lives, the way we obtain information and keep in touch. Air travel relatively much cheaper - within the grasp of ordinary people. A bunch of Brits in a hotel in New Jersey, a postponed Bruce gig due to Hurricane Floyd… and a musician called Joe D’Urso entertaining them.
The very best part of being a Bruce fan for 36 years, the man and his music notwithstanding, is the people I have met and the connections I have made along the way. And Joe D’Urso is one of them. He first toured the UK in 2000 and, over the past 11 years, has built up a solid foundation of UK fans, some of whom are still from that group of stranded Brits who first saw him perform in Toms River, NJ in 1999. And I’m proud to call him my friend.
Joe is one of the good guys - he works tirelessly to raise money to support good causes and none more so than the Light of Day Foundation, of which he is a director, and which raises money to support research into the causes and a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.
‘Light of Day’ (named after a Springsteen song – ‘just around the corner to the light of day’ – a hoped-for cure for Parkinson’s) started as a small show in Asbury Park, NJ, back in the late 90s. It now covers 20+ shows in Europe, Canada and the USA, featuring artists as diverse as Bruce himself, the actor Michael J Fox (who suffers from Parkinson’s), Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy from The Sopranos), Lucinda Williams, Gary U.S. Bonds and many, many more.
And next month, Light of Day is coming to Market Harborough. And that’s all down to me being a Bruce fan and my subsequent friendship with Joe!
Come out and support us at this prestigious event (which we hope will bring 300-400 people to the town), help us to raise some money for Parkinson’s research, enjoy a great night of music but, most of all, join in the wonderful spirit and camaraderie that these shows have become famous for.
And when Bruce, as is anticipated, announces tour dates for next year, the thing I’ll be looking forward to most of all, more even than seeing the shows, will be reconnecting once again with all the friends from the four corners of the earth that I’ve made over the past 36 years of being part of this wonderful community.
And that’s what I’d tell Bruce over a beer in a bar - if I ever get the chance!
Pic below shows Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy), Joe D'Urso and Bob Benjamin (who has Parkinson's) at Light of Day.
Member since: 10th July 2012
Shy retiring (!) red-head from south Leics working hard to showcase everything great about our towns and villages. Loves her son, her man & Bruce Springsteen!